Question: Should a person be alone when he meditates, or does it have anything to do with environment? Do you advise him to be in a big crowd or do you want him to shut himself away all alone?

Sri Chinmoy: He who meditates has to act like a divine hero. He has to serve and while serving he is guiding. He is serving the divinity in humanity. One has to face the world and not retire into the Himalayan caves. We have to act like divine heroes here amidst humanity. Humanity is part and parcel of God. By throwing aside humanity, how are we going to reach divinity, which is part and parcel of humanity?

What we need is transformation. We have to accept the world as it is now. If we don't accept a thing how can we transform it? If a potter does not touch the lump of clay, how is he going to shape it into a pot? The world around us is not perfect, but we are also not perfect. Perfect Perfection has not yet dawned, but we expect to attain perfection through our meditation. How are we going to discard our brothers and sisters who are our veritable limbs? I cannot discard my arm. Similarly, when we meditate soulfully, devotedly, we have to accept humanity as our very own. We have to know that humanity as it stands is far, far, from perfection, but we are also members of humanity. We have to take it with us. If we are in a position to inspire others, if we are one step ahead, naturally we have the opportunity to serve the divinity in the ones who are following us. We have to transform the face of the world on the strength of our dedication to the divinity in humanity. Meditation is not an escape. Meditation is the acceptance of life in its totality, with a view to transforming it for the highest manifestation of the divine Truth here on earth.